We are pleased to announce that Peter Stevens has joined ESA as Principal Fisheries Biologist in the Pacific Northwest. With more than 15 years of experience specializing in data analysis, fish telemetry, habitat modeling, and population assessments, Peter brings an invaluable range of data-driven skillsets to the region.

“We are excited to have Peter onboard to further grow our aquatic resources market in the Northwest,” says Director of Biological Resources Susan Cunningham. “Peter’s skills and experience are just what is needed to advance and foster our growth in the region, and serve the expanding needs of our clients.”

Peter has an extensive background in advanced quantitative analysis and project management for efforts concentrating on fish habitat, biology, and restoration. Most recently, he served as the Quantitative Fish Conservation Biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, where his work centered on modeling and forecasting current and projected salmon and steelhead populations. In this role, Peter built a population viability analysis model to assess declining summer steelhead populations in the Umpqua River, developed an ensemble forecast and sliding harvest scale for Umpqua River spring Chinook salmon, and performed in-season forecasting of Deschutes River summer steelhead. These models were used to analyze historic population abundance and variability; model the extinction risk as impacted by ocean conditions, climate change, and hatchery interventions; and inform important resource management decisions.

As a project manager, Peter has led multiple coordination efforts with partners and stakeholders, including agency scientists, private utilities, and tribal resource management to aggregate and synthesize data in order to inform management, policy, and development decisions.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to work on a variety of engaging, innovative projects,” says Peter. “ESA has a critical mass of fisheries professionals within the Northwest region who possess complementary skills across nearly all fisheries disciplines that are doing impactful, meaningful, and rewarding work. I’m looking forward to building on something bigger than myself while positively affecting the environment.” 

At ESA, Peter joins a team of fisheries and wildlife biologists, wetland scientists, conservation planners, and water quality specialists leading restoration, mitigation, and habitat enhancement efforts across Oregon and Washington. In this role, Peter will pursue landscape-scale analyses to better understand the impacts of restoration interventions more broadly across the region, and inform clients how best to maximize natural resource management efficiencies. He will also collaborate with ESA’s Technology Services team to augment the firm’s data collection and analysis capabilities across natural resource projects.

“There’s a tremendous need in the Northwest to reconnect fish passage and examine and mitigate the myriad impacts of population growth while ameliorating the effects of climate change,” says Peter. “Much of this is going to require structured, data-driven approaches, such as performing rigorous, defensible science that informs management, policy, and development decisions while being accountable to funders, clients, and the public, and demonstrating measurable results.”

Peter’s technical proficiencies include spatial, movement, and time-series modeling; linear and non-linear models; and parametric and non-parametric statistics in both a Frequentist and Bayesian framework. He earned a Master of Science in Fisheries Biology & Aquatic Ecology from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology & Environmental Sciences from Lawrence University. He currently serves as President Elect of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, where he is a member of the society’s Fiscal Sustainability Committee; he is also a member of the North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society.